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Financial inclusion: a strong critique

Ozili, Peterson K (2021): Financial inclusion: a strong critique. Forthcoming in:

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Abstract

This article presents some criticisms of financial inclusion. It notes that (i) financial inclusion is an invitation to live by finance and leads to the financialisation of poverty; (ii) some of the benefits of financial inclusion disappears after a few years; (iii) financial inclusion ignores how poverty affects financial decision making, (iv) it promotes digital money which is difficult to understand, (v) financial inclusion promotes the use of transaction accounts; (vi) digital money is difficult to understand; and that (vii) some financial inclusion efforts bear a resemblance to a campaign against having cash-in-hand. This study will help policymakers in their assessment of the economic, social, political and cultural factors that hinder financial inclusion as well as the consequence of financial inclusion for society. For academics, this study will provide a critical perspective to on-going financial inclusion debates in the large positivist literature on financial inclusion

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